Port Au Prince, Haiti – 05/29/17 – Garment workers in Haiti took the streets again today in Operasyon Bra Kwaze (Operation Arms Crossed)! They’ve been striking and marching for 11 days. Despite increased repression, they stand firm in their demand for a minimum wage of 800 Gourdes per day ($12.60 US).
— RapidResponseNetwork (@RRNSolidarity) May 28, 2017
Today, please help us pressure Gildan Activewear!
“The Montreal-based company was founded in 1984 by Glenn and Greg Chamandy, who purchased a mill in Canada to made basic cotton products, like T-shirts and sweatshirts, then resell them across North America to be screen-printed with designs.”
In 2015 Gildan generated $2.57 billion in revenue, an increase of 11.7% from 2014, thanks to the exploited labor of garment workers in Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua.
Maybe it’s your college or team t-shirt, your running shorts, or a cheesy polo with the company logo that your job likes everyone to where on Fridays… somewhere in your wardrobe, there is likely an article of Gildan brand clothing.
Haiti is a very profitable production location for Gildan as workers receive the lowest wages in the western hemisphere. Also, thanks to the HOPE and HELP Acts, Gildan pays no tariffs importing its products from Haiti to the US & Canada – its largest markets.
Premium Apparel SA, Palm Apparel SA, Sewing International SA (SISA), and H&H Textiles SA are some of the factories that produce for Gildan in Haiti.
At these factories, union members are constantly harassed and arbitrarily fired. At many factories, wage theft is normal. Now during the strike, workers producing for Gildan are under attack. They are being shot with rubber bullets and tear gas. Many have been physically beaten.
This is all to protect the profits of the factory owners and Gildan.
This is not about consumer guilt. It’s about Solidarity.
The reality is that no matter what brand you buy, from clothing to food, every good is tied to exploitation at some point in the production process.
Rather than scour the internet for guilt-free products that do not exist, stand behind the people who produce the goods we consume, the people fighting exploitation daily.
We are not just passive, individual consumers. We are people with conscience, with a human instinct for solidarity and collective action. We are many.
Lend your solidarity. Take a stand with Haitian garment workers!
Call Gildan Now.
Tell them they can afford to pay Haitian garment workers 800 Gourdes per day ($12.60 US).
Below are phone numbers for Gildan in the US & Canada, followed by links to their website and social media pages.
Use the scripts below to read during the call, or just use the bullet points that you prefer.
The script for Canada is in French.
Gildan U.S. Office
1980 Clements Ferry Rd
Charleston, SC 29492
Call: Jason Greene – Director of Supply Chain
Direct line: 843-606-3750
Main line: 843-606-3600
(Leave messages if no one answers).
Hi may I please speak with Jason Greene? [If calling main line. Try Jason’s direct line first].
Hi Jason, I’m calling to voice the demands of striking Haitian garment workers who produce for Gildan.
- Workers need a minimum wage adjustment to 800 Gourdes per day ($12.60 US).
- Right now, the workers who make your products are being attacked by tear gas and rubber bullets. Many have been physically beaten by the police for exercising their legal rights to organize.
- I insist that Gildan make sure that Haitian workers are paid 800 Gourdes per day. They cannot survive on the wage they currently receive. They live in debt, hunger and many become homeless.
- Often the legal minimum wage of 350 Gourdes ($5.50 US) is not even paid. Reports by Workers Rights Consortium show that wage theft is a consistent issue for workers in Haiti.
- According to Gildan’s website, “The majority of Gildan’s permanent production workers earn significantly more than the legally-mandated minimum industry wages in all the countries in which we operate.” This is obviously untrue.
- Gildan made 2.57 billion dollars in sales in 2015. The company can afford to pay a living wage to the people who produce your products. They are the reason you make billions of dollars.
- I’m asking you to make sure Haitian factories that produce Gildan ware pay workers 800 Gourdes, and that manufacturers respect workers’ rights to organize!
- Tell your manufacturers in Haiti to stop attacking workers, legally fighting for their basic rights.
Gildan Canada Office
600 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West, 33rd Floor
MONTREAL, QC H3A 3J2
Telephone number: 514-340-8751
Je vous appelle pour faire écho aux demandes des ouvriers haïtiens en grève qui produisent des vêtements pour Gildan.
- Actuellement, des ouvriers produisant vos vêtements en Haïti sont victimes d’attaques par gaz lacrymogène et balles en caoutchouc. Plusieurs ouvriers ont été matraqués par la police simplement parce qu’ils exprimaient leurs revendications selon leur droit légal de manifester de façon organisée.
- J’insiste que Gildan intervienne pour s’assurer que ces ouvriers Haïtiens reçoivent au moins un salaire journalier de 800 Gourdes ($15.43 CAD par jour). Ces ouvriers ne peuvent pas survivre à partir du salaire qu’ils reçoivent actuellement.
- Souvent, le salaire minimum de 350 Gourdes n’est même pas payé. Un rapport du Consortium des Droits des Travailleurs démontré que le vol salarial est un problème courant que confrontent les ouvriers en Haïti.
- D’après le site internet de Gildan, “la majorité des travailleurs de production touchent un salaire qui dépasse de façon substantielle le salaire minimum légal en vigueur dans tous les pays dans lesquels nous produisons.” De toute évidence, ce n’est pas vrai.
- Selon votre rapport annuel de 2015, vous avez réalisé des ventes totalisant $2,57 billions. Votre compagnie peut donc facilement se permettre de payer un salaire vivable aux ouvriers produisant vos vêtements. Ce sont ces ouvriers qui vous permettent de réaliser vos milliards de dollars.
- Je vous prie de vous assurer que les fabriques produisant des vêtements pour Gildan en Haïti payent leurs ouvriers un salaire journalier de 800 Gourdes au moins, et qu’ils respectent le droit internationalement reconnu de ces ouvriers à s’organiser.
- Exigez que vos entreprises et vos sous-traitants s’arrêtent de s’attaquer à leurs ouvriers.
Gildan Corporate Citizenship
(Thanks to our friend who emailed the RRN with this contact info!)
Senior Vice President, Public and Corporate Affairs
Vice President, Corporate Citizenship – Central America and Caribbean Basin
Director, Corporate Communications
Gildan Social Media:
Facebook.com/GenuineGildan (stewardship/social responsibility)
Thank you for taking action with Haitian garment workers!
Please post on our Facebook page, tweet, or email us with any responses you receive from Gildan.
Facebook – @RapidResponseNetwork
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
For more background info on this situation in Haiti, check out these links:
Last, please make a financial contribution to help these workers continue their fight.
The act of striking is incredibly brave. It requires a serious sacrifice, and a level of cooperation and care for their collective interest. Striking means no wages. It means hungry families, no money for transit, for school, or for the market. It means the rent will not be paid and the possibility of homelessness. And yet, the textile workers continue on… because they recognize that the only path to justice is through their collective fight. It’s their only alternative to starvation wages and further exploitation.
Workers are determined to continue with the ongoing strikes. They are fierce and brave, but they are also hungry, and funds to continue the strike are low.
Let’s stand with them!
We must not passively accept the presence of products on store shelves without understanding—and actively opposing—the harsh conditions of exploitation and repression under which they are produced.
Skip a few cups of coffee or a dinner out, and donate that money to Haitian garment workers.
Make a contribution of any amount.
ABA SALE MIZ! DOWN WITH MISERY WAGES!
ABA EKSPLWATASYON! DOWN WITH EXPLOITATION!